Rule of Law Governing Abnormally Dangerous Activity under the Restatement second of Torts

The Restatement of Law (Second) of Torts deals with the basic principle of law of Torts in the US. The Restatement of Laws is issued by the secretaries of law. It states the laws along with proper examples of their application. These restatements are basically amendments to present laws, based on different suggestions by judges and other individuals having knowledge about the legal and constitutional system of the US.

The Restatement (Second) of Torts sheds light on topics including rights of privacy and dangerous behavior. Its main concept is related to the Strict Liability for Abnormally Dangerous Activity (SLADA). 

According to the Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 520: 

“In determining whether an activity is abnormally dangerous, the following factors are to be considered: (a) existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land, or chattels of others; (b) likelihood that the harm that results from it will be great; (c) inability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care; (d) extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage; (e) inappropriateness of the activity to the place where it is carried on; and (f) extent to which its value to the community is outweighed by its dangerous attributes.” 

The Restatement (Second) of Torts defines abnormally dangerous activity, extra hazardous activity or ultra hazardous activity as an activity that includes the risk of serious harm or damage to other citizens and their belongings. The law holds the performer of this kind of behavior as completely liable and responsible for the behavior, despite all steps taken by the accused in preventing the damage or harm in question. Examples of such kinds of activity include manufacturing or working with explosives, street races, setting off fireworks, working with radioactive material etc.

“In Wyrulec Co. v. Schutt, the Wyoming Supreme Court stated that although the standard of care in a case involving an ultrahazardous instrumentality is ‘ordinary care under all of the circumstances[,] …. What constitutes ordinary care increases as the danger increases.’ Wyrulec, 866 P.2d at 762. The court continued: ‘The concept of ordinary care accommodates all circumstances so that the degree of care varies with the circumstances. Ordinary care which is commensurate with the danger does not impose a higher duty, but more fully defines what is ordinary care under the facts presented.’ Id. (Quotations and citations omitted).

In sum, under Wyoming law, a defendant engaged in an ultrahazardous activity must exercise a degree of care commensurate with the danger to meet the ordinary care standard.” J. Ebel, Hynes v. Energy West, Inc., 211 F.3d 1193, 1197-1198 (10th Cir. 2000).

Attribution: Hynes v. Energy West, Inc. (2000) via